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We Can Work It Out

Negotiation in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree
-- Dean Acheson

Conflicts are a normal part of life; how we deal with them can make a big difference. Often when people resolve conflicts, one person ends up a winner, and one loses out. This may solve the problem for the moment, but resentment and bad feelings can cause more problems later. Another way to look at conflicts is to try to find a WIN-WIN solution, in which both sides can benefit. In this way, conflicts are turned into opportunities to grow and make things better. This approach is the cornerstone of "conflict resolution" - an important tool for bringing peace into our personal lives, our communities and to our world.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein


Start out with an ideal and end up with a deal.
-- Karl Albrecht

Tactics mean doing what you can with what you have...tactics is the art of how to take and how to give.
-- Saul Alinsky

* Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.
-- Saul Alinsky

“The Law of Win/Win says, ”Let’s not do it your way or my way; let’s do it the best way”
-- Greg Anderson

* Terrorism constitutes a direct attack on the values the UN stands for: the rule of law; the protection of civilians; peaceful resolution of conflicts; and mutual respect between people of different faiths and cultures,”
-- Kofi Annan

* Mediation and reconciliation work is about a profound quest for justice and social transformation. But at the same time, they are about service, solidarity, about exploring and rediscovering the human spirit that has been lost or shattered through human conflict, cruelty, ignorance and greed…
-- Hizkias Assefa

The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts.
-- Howard Baker


* If you start a conversation with the assumption that you are right or that you must win, obviously it is difficult to talk.
~ Wendell Berry

* There is no time left for anything but to make peace work a dimension of our every waking activity
-- Elise Boulding


If you can’t go around it, over it, or through it, you had better negotiate with it.
-- Ashleigh Brilliant

“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.
-- Buddha

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.
-- Edmund Burke


* “Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent.”
~ Jimmy Carter

“One of the most basic principles for making and keeping peace within and between nations. . . is that in political, military, moral, and spiritual confrontations, there should be an honest attempt at the reconciliation of differences before resorting to combat”
~ Jimmy Carter

* “Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent.”
~ Jimmy Carter

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.
-- William Ellery Channing


* “If you believe in a security strategy -- a strategy of more friends and fewer enemies, a strategy of greater cooperation and a strategy of keeping America better at home as we grow more diverse -- we have to build the minds and hearts to build this kind of world.”
~ Bill Clinton

* Only reverence can restrain violence — reverence for human life and the environment.
-- William Sloane Coffin

Peace produced by suppression is neither natural nor desirable.
-- Anna Julia Cooper

* The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue.
- The Dalai Lama

* The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue.
- The Dalai Lama

I feel very strongly that you can't just beat people up anymore; you have to work hand in hand and find ways to compromise, and get big business involved, because it won't happen otherwise.
-- Ted Danson

* Gandhi once declared that it was his wife who unwittingly taught him the effectiveness of nonviolence. Who better than women should know that battles can be won without resorting to physical strength.
-- Barbara Deming

Adopt a new philosophy of cooperation (win-win) in which everybody wins
-- W. Edwards Deming

There is more than a verbal tie between the words common, community, and communication.... Try the experiment of communicating, with fullness and accuracy, some experience to another, especially if it be somewhat complicated, and you will find your own attitude toward your experience changing.
-- John Dewey

"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said."
-- Peter F. Drucker

* "I wish that the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program could be taught in every classroom in America, because we are not going to deal with the violence in our communities, our homes, and our nation, until we learn to deal with the basic ethic of how we resolve our disputes and to place an emphasis on peace in the way we relate to one another."
-- Marian Wright Edelman

Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police”
-- Albert Einstein

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved through understanding.
-- Albert Einstein

* "There's been a quantum leap technologically in our age, but unless there's another quantum leap in human relations, unless we learn to live in a new way towards one another, there will be a catastrophe."
-- Albert Einstein

* Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved through understanding.
-- Albert Einstein

* People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the gray areas. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.”
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Blessed is the man who having nothing to say, abstains from giving in words evidence of the fact.
-- George Elliot.

* We need to learn and to show others that there are tried and tested, powerful ways of containing and resolving conflict which do not require the use of force.
-- Scilla Elworthy


More and more individuals worldwide are realizing that war does not solve conflict, nor resolve long-standing cycles of violence. As more of those who have this understanding communicate it to policy-makers and more particularly, start implementing it in their own lives and localities, change will start to happen.
-- Scilla Elworthy

If governments were kind, they'd realize that conficts are resolved and wars prevented not by armies but by ordinary people.
-- Scilla Elworthy

* The god of Victory is said to be one-handed, but Peace gives victory to both sides.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of a diplomat.
-- Robert Estabrook

There are three ways of dealing with difference: domination, compromise, and integration. By domination only one side gets what it wants; by compromise neither side gets what it wants; by integration we find a way by which both sides may get what they wish.
-- Mary Parker Follett

* When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?
-- Benjamin Franklin

The most constructive solutions are those which take into consideration the views of all persons involved and are acceptable to all. Such outcomes are the result of negotiation strategies where the needs of both sides are considered important and an attempt is made to meet all needs. These solutions are appropriately called Win-Win because there are no losers. While often difficult to arrive at, the process leading to such solutions builds interpersonal relationships, increases motivation and improves commitment. Win-Win solutions are the most desirable outcomes of conflict resolution.
-- Peter Gabor and Carol Ing

* Courtesy towards opponents and eagerness to understand their view-point is the ABC of non-violence.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

Non-cooperation is a measure of discipline and sacrifice, and it demands respect for the opposite views.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love."
~ Mohandas Gandhi

Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love."
~ Mohandas Gandhi

Negotiation talks are the best way to solve anything. We must replace wars and weapons with negotiations and talks.
~ Akbar Ganji

* "Forgiveness does not overlook the deed. It rises above it."
-- Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

A balance of interests rather than a balance of power, a search for compromise and concord rather than a search for advantages at other people's expense, and respect for equality rather than claims to leadership - such are the elements which can provide the groundwork for world progress…
~ Mikhail Gorbachev

* To resolve such conflicts peacefully in our interdependent – or what I would like to call our intra-interdependent – world requires not just well-chosen words but sustained and unified action.
~ Prince Hassan bin Talal

"Truth springs from argument amongst friends."
-- David Hume

A world community can exist only with world communication, which means something more than extensive short-wave facilities scattered ;about the globe. It means common understanding, a common tradition, common ideas, and common ideals.
-- Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977)


“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.”
-- Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

"Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude."
-- William James

* " Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate
-- John F. Kennedy


* " Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate
-- John F. Kennedy

* Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr

True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr

During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.
-- Brian Koslow

* We found out that the young people who had a substantial number of lessons in the Resolving Conflict Creatively Curriculum ... not only did better in terms of people skills, that they managed their emotions, they were less violent and more caring, but they actually did better on their academic achievement tests.
~ Linda Lantieri

Emotional intelligence in the work that we do, in the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program, is about equipping young people with the kinds of skills they need to both identify and manage their emotions, to communicate those emotions effectively, and to resolve conflict nonviolently. So it's a whole set of skills and competencies that, for us, fall under the umbrella of emotional intelligence.
~ Linda Lantieri

We're finally learning that it is not an either-or situation ... Feelings and learning and emotion are all very integral to each other."
~ Linda Lantieri


* "...We can work it out. Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend."
-- John Lennon & Paul McCartney

* "Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser -- in fees, expenses, and waste of time."
-- Abraham Lincoln

Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.
-- Max Lucado

Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.
-- Nelson Mandela

* If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
-- Nelson Mandela

To obtain a just compromise, concession must not only mutual--it must be equal also....There can be no hope that either will yield more than it gets in return.
-- Supreme Court Justice John Marshall


* "...We can work it out. Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend."
-- Paul McCartney & John Lennon

* “Dialogue is the only way to end war and terror. We need practical solidarity with those who are weaker and diplomacy from below.”
-- Luisa Morgantini

Though we all have the fear and the seeds of anger within us, we must learn not to water those seeds and instead nourish our positive qualities – those of compassion, understanding, and loving kindness.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.”
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

* To reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to understand the suffering of both sides.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."
-- Thomas Paine.

I go back to what Mrs. Roosevelt taught me: 'Always compromise, but compromise upwards.'
-- Esther Peterson

"You're in a much better position to talk with people when they approach you than when you approach them."
-- Peace Pilgrim

* "This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love."
-- Peace Pilgrim

* "This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love."
-- Peace Pilgrim

* “When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

* We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

* "If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace."
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

"I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: 'The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair.' In these words he epitomized the history of the human race."
-- Bertrand Russell

* For love of domination we must substitute equality; for love of victory we must substitute justice; for brutality we must substitute intelligence; for competition we must substitute cooperation. We must learn to think of the human race as one family.
-- Bertrand Russell

“The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.”
-- Bertrand Russell

"To observe people in conflict is a necessary part of a child's education. It helps him to understand and accept his own occasional hostilities and to realize that differing opinions need not imply an absence of love."
-- Milton R. Saperstein

I will not play at tug o'war.
I'd rather play at hug o'war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
-- Shel Silverstein


* One of the basic causes for all the trouble in the world today is that people talk too much and think too little. They act impulsively without thinking. I always try to think before I talk.
-- Margaret Chase Smith


Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict -- alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.
-- Dorothy Thompson

* If you have nothing to say, say nothing.
-- Mark Twain


The story of the human race is characterized by efforts to get along much more than by violent disputes, although it's the latter that makes the history books. Violence is actually exceptional. The human race has survived because of cooperation, not aggression.
-- Gerard Vanderhaar

You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims.
-- Harriet Woods

“Cooperation means win-win, confrontation means lose-lose.”
-- Zhu Feng




Marian Wright Edelman | Linda Lantieri

Conflict Resolution Day - 3rd Thursday in October

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